A comparison of paramedic practice with that of an emergency care practitioner

This article, following on from the previous article by Gaisford (2014), set out to further quantify the day-to-day work of the modern ambulance service. A particular focus was given to the comparison of emergency care practitioner (ECP) and paramedic practice. Non-patient-identifiable audit data from two consecutive years of practice was analysed and compared, looking in particular at the rates the different clinicians treated patients at scene and referred to specialist units. Seven specific categories of presenting complaint were analysed in depth to illustrate where and why the ECP was performing better than the paramedic at treating patients in the community. The audit of the data showed that in all areas the ECP sends less patients to the emergency department than the paramedic; this was found to be due to both the enhanced range of skills and interventions the ECP has available to him/her as well as the greater level of clinical reasoning and knowledge possessed by the ECP.

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